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[Xmca-l] Re: Hegel on Action



​Thanks very much for the explanation Andy!  This is precisely where I was
headed in my initial comment about the nature of matter as activity. But
apparently I didn't make that very clear and besides, you don't seem much
interested in borrowing metaphors from Physics when you can just say it
plainly in words. Well enough said.

Anyway, your essay on activity is a very welcome contribution to those of
us who are trying to get better a better handle on the messy business of
activity and who would like to better understand Hegel's take on it all.
Thanks very much for this important and substantial essay! (I still have
quite a bit of digesting of it to do...)

Cheers,
greg​

On Sat, Jul 15, 2017 at 10:54 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> Without typos....
>
>> Firstly, the first page of my 15 page article is devoted to showing how,
>> if you begin from matter and consciousness, you inevitably fall into
>> irretrievable contradictions, so that I hope to convince the reader that it
>> is worth reading the next 14 pages in which activity is taken as the
>> starting point, not matter and consciousness. I have chosen to offer this
>> for discussion on a list devoted to Cultural Historical ACTIVITY Theory
>> because it seemed that such an audience would be open to that idea.
>>
>> The difficulty I think is grasping the philosophical level at which I am
>> deploying these concepts.
>>
>> I am not formulating a new theory of physics, Greg. But you want my
>> opinion on gravity. Gravity is a concept of natural science originating in
>> the 17th century, expressing the observation of a tendency of bodies to
>> accelerate towards each other at a rate proportional to the product of the
>> inertial mass of the two bodies and inversely proportional to the square of
>> the distance between them. As a result of Einstein's revolution in physics
>> where he refused to take time and space and gravity as entities existing
>> independently of human activity, but rather as interrelated properties of
>> the human activity of measurement, the concept of gravity underwent a
>> modification, in which it is shown to be implicit in the measurement of
>> accelerated frames of reference. But I am not a physicist and maybe I have
>> screwed this up a bit. But of course, I have only told you about the
>> concept of gravity, and you asked me about gravity itself, as something
>> existing independently of the practice of measuring gravity. I don't know
>> about that. What I've read of Einstein tells me that gravity is an
>> appearance. What I will say though is that the concept of gravity has a
>> relatively sound basis in human practice. If I was an electron I would not
>> know about gravity.
>>
>> Matter (in the context in which I am speaking, i.e., not in a lesson on
>> Physics) is a philosophical concept which denotes all that exists outside
>> of consciousness. That is the definition of matter. If you want to define
>> matter differently that's fine, but radical revisions of ontology should
>> not be done lightly. Please try reading past the first page where I spruke
>> the virtues of Activity as a foundational concept, rather than
>> consciousness and matter.  But if you are really stuck on matter and
>> consciousness, I have a talk exclusively on this question
>> https://www.academia.edu/9989816/Matter_and_Consciousness and a one hour
>> video too https://vimeo.com/groups/301100/videos/121234193
>>
>> My reference to psychokinesis was not a misinterpretation. My point was
>> based on the confidence that you don't believe in psychokinesis. Why not?
>>
>>
>> Andy
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> Andy Blunden
>> http://home.mira.net/~andy
>> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
>> On 16/07/2017 1:27 PM, Greg Thompson wrote:
>>
>>> Yes, difficult indeed! (and you've been doing a fair bit of
>>> misinterpreting as well - psychokinesis? As if!).
>>> If you won't take my gravity question then can I bother you to ask for
>>> an explanation of what you mean when you say that matter exists outside of
>>> consciousness?
>>> I'm sincerely trying to understand the position that you are setting
>>> out, but lots of stumbling blocks along the way.
>>> -greg
>>>
>>>
>>> On Sat, Jul 15, 2017 at 7:01 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net
>>> <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
>>>
>>>     Communication is hard, isn't it? You have interpreted
>>>     what I have said in the exact 100%  opposite of my
>>>     meaning, Greg.
>>>
>>>     The European Rationalists and Empiricists of the
>>>     Enlightenment broke with the monism of the Catholic
>>>     Church and proposed that matter existed outside of and
>>>     independently of human consciousness but the nature of
>>>     matter could be known by the respective programs of
>>>     rationalism and empiricism. This is the view which
>>>     guided the development of philosophy and science in
>>>     the West and remains common sense to this day.
>>>
>>>     *Hegel proposed a viable alternative to this ontology*
>>>
>>>     But he did not do that by providing "new" definitions
>>>     of matter and consciousness. He proposed a new monist
>>>     starting point and reconstructed an entire world view
>>>     beginning from that single concept which, in the
>>>     spirit of his own times, he called "Spirit". I call it
>>>     "Activity" and the article shows that this
>>>     interpretation is true to Hegel's intention.
>>>
>>>     So please, rather than imagining how matter and
>>>     consciousness could somehow get mixed up with one
>>>     another and we can discover psychokinesis and tell the
>>>     future with dreams, be open to taking Activity as the
>>>     substance of a world view.
>>>
>>>     Andy
>>>
>>>     ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>     Andy Blunden
>>>     http://home.mira.net/~andy <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy>
>>> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
>>> <http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making>
>>>
>>>     On 16/07/2017 4:45 AM, Greg Thompson wrote:
>>>
>>>         Andy,
>>>
>>>         I must confess to being entirely confused by your
>>>         suggestion that "matter is everything outside of
>>>         consciousness". It sounds like you are starting
>>>         the conversation by saying "there is matter on the
>>>         one hand and there is consciousness on the other
>>>         hand and never the twain shall meet." Perhaps that
>>>         is an essential starting point for understanding
>>>         activity, but I would at least like to imagine it
>>>         could be otherwise.
>>>
>>>         In my work I am trying to
>>>         ​do this work of imagining
>>>          how it could be otherwise. I'm trying to think of
>>>         this another way
>>>         ​, t​
>>>         o get a grip on things in some way that does not
>>>         split the world in two
>>>         ​ right at the get-go​
>>>         .
>>>         ​
>>>         ​I assume that for you this is an ontological
>>>         commitment. You start by assuming (asserting?
>>>         realizing?) that there are two types of things in
>>>         the world - matter and consciousness. I'd rather
>>>         not start there.​ Because this involves a
>>>         disagreement in our starting assumptions, I don't
>>>         suspect we'll get very far with that conversation
>>>         (and we've dabbled in that conversation before and
>>>         indeed we haven't gotten anywhere).
>>>
>>>         So I thought I would ask a slightly different
>>>         question: what is the nature of gravity? Is it
>>>         more like matter or more like consciousness (in
>>>         that one could imagine gravity being something
>>>         "outside" of matter in the sense that you are
>>>         saying "consciousness" is outside of matter)? I
>>>         know you are committed to non-dualism in some
>>>         sense and I'm just trying to figure out how you
>>>         reconcile all of this.
>>>
>>>         ​In solidarity,​
>>>         -greg​
>>>
>>>
>>>         On Sat, Jul 15, 2017 at 12:11 AM, Andy Blunden
>>>         <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>
>>>         <mailto:ablunden@mira.net
>>>         <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>             No, it would be spreading confusion, Greg.
>>>
>>>             "Matter" in this context is everything outside
>>>         of my
>>>             consciousness. "Activity" in this context is
>>>         human,
>>>             social practice. Moving attention to the
>>>         sub-atomic
>>>             level, a field where we have no common sense,
>>>         sensuous
>>>             knowledge, does not help.
>>>
>>>             Andy
>>>
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>             Andy Blunden
>>>         http://home.mira.net/~andy
>>>         <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy>
>>>         <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy>
>>> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
>>> <http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making>
>>> <http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
>>> <http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making>>
>>>
>>>             On 15/07/2017 2:31 PM, Greg Thompson wrote:
>>>
>>>                 Andy,
>>>                 Just musing here but I'm wondering if
>>>         "matter" is
>>>                 anything more than activity, particularly when
>>>                 considered at the sub-atomic level.
>>>                 At that level, matter seems a lot more
>>>         like the
>>>                 holding of relations in some activity (not so
>>>                 different from the Notion?).
>>>                 Or would that be taking things too far?
>>>                 -greg
>>>
>>>                 On Fri, Jul 14, 2017 at 10:12 PM, Andy Blunden
>>>                 <ablunden@mira.net
>>>         <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>
>>>         <mailto:ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>>
>>>                 <mailto:ablunden@mira.net
>>>         <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>
>>>
>>>                 <mailto:ablunden@mira.net
>>>         <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>                     Anyone who got interested in that
>>>         material about
>>>                     "Hegel on Action", here is my
>>>         contribution.
>>>
>>>         https://www.academia.edu/33887830/Hegel_on_Action
>>> <https://www.academia.edu/33887830/Hegel_on_Action>
>>> <https://www.academia.edu/33887830/Hegel_on_Action
>>> <https://www.academia.edu/33887830/Hegel_on_Action>>
>>> <https://www.academia.edu/33887830/Hegel_on_Action
>>> <https://www.academia.edu/33887830/Hegel_on_Action>
>>> <https://www.academia.edu/33887830/Hegel_on_Action
>>> <https://www.academia.edu/33887830/Hegel_on_Action>>>
>>>
>>>                     Andy
>>>
>>>
>>>                     --
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>                     Andy Blunden
>>>         http://home.mira.net/~andy
>>>         <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy>
>>>                 <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy>
>>>                 <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy>
>>> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
>>> <http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making>
>>> <http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
>>> <http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making>>
>>> <http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
>>> <http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making>
>>> <http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
>>> <http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
>>> >>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>                 --         Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
>>>                 Assistant Professor
>>>                 Department of Anthropology
>>>                 880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
>>>                 Brigham Young University
>>>                 Provo, UT 84602
>>>         http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
>>>         <http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson>
>>>                 <http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
>>>         <http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>         --         Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
>>>         Assistant Professor
>>>         Department of Anthropology
>>>         880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
>>>         Brigham Young University
>>>         Provo, UT 84602
>>>         http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
>>>         <http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson>
>>>         <http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
>>>         <http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
>>> Assistant Professor
>>> Department of Anthropology
>>> 880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
>>> Brigham Young University
>>> Provo, UT 84602
>>> http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
>


-- 
Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson